With the onset of spring, the Cairngorms National Park Authority (CNPA) is asking dog owners to take extra care around sheep and lambs and be aware of vulnerable ground-nesting birds.
The CNPA is asking people to ‘Tread Lightly in the Park’ and to pay attention to any special notices posted by rangers, land managers or farmers in order to make their time with their pets enjoyable for everyone.
Bruce McConachie, CNPA land management adviser, said: “The message is simple – dog owners are being urged to keep their dogs on leads. Loose dogs around pregnant ewes or lambs can have devastating impacts from miscarriage to injuries as a direct result of chasing or attacks by dogs that are not in control.
“Dogs that are not on leads near sheep can be a real problem and attacks by dogs can result in a big financial burden for farmers in terms of stock loss or vets bills, not to mention the emotional upset that is caused.”
The spring is also an important time for birds, from lapwings on farmland to capercaillie in woodlands and guidance for dog owners is included in the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.
Further information on enjoying the outdoors responsibly can be found online at http://www.outdooraccess-scotland.com/Practical-guide/public/dog-walking